From the blog ‘We Won’t Fly‘ comes yet another tale of IP tracking exposing the ignorance and hatred of the far right.
I was about to delete an offensive comment on this blog – one of the very few we get – and thought, hmm, I wonder where this guy is posting from? Because, really, it is quite unusual for us to get nasty comments. Lo and behold, the troll posted to our website from an IP address controlled by the federal government’s Department of Homeland Security!
Unbelievable? There’s much more. Go read the entire article.
I wanted to highlight this article because Free Range Longmont routinely gets anonymous hate comments (which are not published due to our comment policy) but we keep records to cross-index them with identified commenters.
Here’s some of the IP addresses and the reported locations:
Mayor Baum’s wife has claimed that IP tracking is not reliable.
Just an FYI – I in fact did not write the comments on FRL last night and your assertions* on the website that I did are libel. As someone who works in the computer industry, you should understand how internet providers dole out dynamic IP addresses. They own a range of addresses and all users of that provider are given an IP address in that range, that changes periodically. So the fact that the user who posted that comment had an IP address in the same range as addresses I’ve had in the past only proves that they are a Comcast subscriber like me. So really, your assertion only makes you look uninformed and is probably more of an embarrassment to you than anything else. Furthermore, the fact that you are blocking IP addresses that Comcast dynamically assigns will only in the future lock out your fellow Progressives who might happen to use Comcast too as they don’t get to pick their IP, they’re just given one in Comcast’s range, which you are slowly shutting down. Which doesn’t keep me from reading your site via proxy, and lends to my assertion that you don’t really understand how internet access works and why blocking IP addresses doesn’t work.
(* no such assertions were made, merely the observation that her IP address was in the same range. -FRL)
I’m wondering if perhaps this DHS article makes it clear enough to the public that oh yes, it is reliable. Quite reliable – when people aren’t ‘spoofing’ their address and purposely hiding their identity; which became the norm for the Longmont trolls after I publicized this. Odd, the volume of hate comments has decreased to a trickle – except at the Times-Call (despite repeated complaints). However, I don’t have access to the IP records there so the public is invited to draw their own conclusions.
As for her comment about Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP), yes, Comcast does assign IP addresses dynamically, however they are persistent (as anyone familiar with networking knows) and a typical user will often have the same IP address for very long periods, months usually. So her remarks are, in my opinion, a carefully-worded distraction.
My opinion is that the angry, tooth-gritted far right in Longmont is using every possible means to attack any dissenting voice – with the explicit endorsement of the mayor and his deep-pocket supporters.
The citizens of Longmont are encouraged to consider this and question the ethics of any leadership willing to stoop to such tactics to surpress free speech – and also consider the people aiding and abetting them, in some cases with the possible use of government resources to accomplish it.